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Environment 09 Mar, 2023 1 Comments Follow News


As plans for extending the East-West Arterial(EWA) continue to be the topic of much public debate, the campaign group Amplify Cayman is proposing an alternative to the route being considered by the government.

The group argues that the current plan threatens the pristine, environmentally vital but delicate Central Mangrove Wetlands.

Instead, it now proposes an alternative route referred to as BP40 in a privately commissioned study by the firm Ardent Consultancy.

“BP40 would go along the southern coast of Grand Cayman from Pedro Castle Road through Beach Bay and into Bodden Town to Manse Road, and would include an access point near Hawking Moore Drive to accommodate commuters from Lookout Gardens,” Amplify Cayman explains.

It claims this route would be more environmentally considerate, as the terrain in this part of the Island is dry forest on porous limestone, which would greatly mitigate flooding in nearby areas during heavy rains and storm seasons.

In contrast, the group says, the EWA extension, if built at sea level within the Central Mangrove Wetlands, would not provide this added benefit, and could potentially increase flooding in nearby areas due to its construction.

“From a climate resiliency perspective, the development of BP40 would be less impactful on our environment, and provide the same positive benefits of traffic alleviation and an additional emergency access route, as the proposed extension of the East-West Arterial through the Central Mangrove Wetlands.”

Amplify Cayman says it’s asking Cabinet “only to approve developments that meet the nested interdependence framework, explored in Amplify Cayman People’s Sustainability Charter, which was published September 27th, 2021 on the 20th anniversary of the 2001 Environmental Charter and can be read here, which holistically ensures community and nature are balanced with economic growth.”

It further states that within the community, there is support for alleviated traffic, increased economic opportunities for those in the Eastern districts, and efficient public transportation, as well as broad opposition to developing such solutions at the expense of our sensitive wetland environments.

Amplify Cayman also says that it is pro-sustainable development, not an anti-development, “as we recognize that a balance needs to be struck, whereby socio-economic needs are met within the constraints of our natural resources.”

“We at Amplify support solution-finding that balances the protection of our environment with society’s needs and the economy, and the order in which we act will ensure a balance is found when developing for national growth.”

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Nicholas Sykes

18 Mar, 2023

This proposal is one that has been on the table for many years. I think it would make a sensible and effective contribution to a solution, while not at all being regarded as the complete solution to our traffic woes or our real environmental concerns.